A pair of historic ornate lamps that originally stood outside the Mayor of Rochdale’s home during their term in office will soon be back on show in the town.
The lamps last stood vigil a decade ago but got damaged and were put into storage. Last year the Friends of Rochdale Town Hall tracked down the lamps and have since raised money to pay for their repair.
Dorothy Johnstone from the group, said:
“Finding the lamps took a bit of detective work as they were in a storage yard, but it was a marvellous moment when we saw them again. They are part of Rochdale’s history and it will be lovely to have them back.”
The eight foot high lamps are currently being restored by master craftsman John Wade at his cast iron workshop in Lincolnshire.
“They are unusual pieces and were in a sorry state when I picked them up. I grit blasted them which revealed detailed engravings of sheep and stars as well as brass plates and the lamps have been primed ready for painting. We have also strengthened the central core and the group is keen to have them as working lamps. I have never heard of Mayoral Lamps before but it seems a lovely tradition.”
The work, which will cost around £5,000, is due to be completed shortly and after talks with English Heritage it is anticipated that the lamps will be installed outside the town hall.
Rochdale Borough Council leader, Councillor Richard Farnell said:
“The lamps are a distinctive part of Rochdale’s history and it is wonderful they have been rediscovered and are being restored to their original glory. We are very much looking forward to seeing them back in the borough later this year, taking pride of place outside our magnificent town hall.”
To take a virtual tour of Rochdale Town Hall or find out about the regular guided tours visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/townhall
The Mayoral Lamps outside Alderman Thomas E Kershaw's home on Middleton Road. He was Mayor in 1933 - 1934